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Poem for today by Fran Thurling

Arts Richmond

Online - 07 June 2020

 Poem for today by Fran Thurling

The lost dress


Thistle, rose, daffodil,

bird, squirrel, deer, a bear

stitched on Italian cloth of silver thread.

This is my dress.


Princess, bastard, Lady,

in and out of favour.

A motherless pawn in intriguing times,

I lived the fear.


Now become Majesty

I must outshine, surpass.

Let them kneel before my magnificence.

I don my dress.


I put on my white mask,

my pearls of purity.

I am Elizabeth, Gloriana.

I do not age.     


by Fran Thurling

{In winter 2019/20 an exhibition at Hampton Court Palace displayed pieces of rare C16th embroidered cloth known as the Bacton Altar Cloth. It is now accepted that this is from a dress belonging to Queen Elizabeth I.} 

The lost dress

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